​The Old Fashioned

 Like similar familiar cocktails of today, from the humble beginnings of trial and error, of exploration, of horrific excursions into questionable creations (such as the Fruit Wars Era), some cocktails have withstood the test of time, and stand proud before us today as staples of the bar scene.

The Old Fashioned Cocktail is such one. It began simply as The Whiskey Cocktail, consisting of Rye Whiskey, a sugar cube, water, bitters, gum syrup, and a lemon twist. Over time it evolved, and sometimes the steps forward were not kind to this simple drink. It wasn't until the turn of the century in the early 1900's when one man, concerned with the direction things were going and wishing to return to the good old days, did so. 

'Colonel' Jim Grey of New York's Fifth Avenue Hotel turned to an early recipe, and declared it "The Whiskey Cocktail, made the old fashioned way". As it grew in popularity, so did the name, and it stuck. Today we call the original Whiskey Cocktail the The Old Fashioned. 



 The Classic            Jack Daniels Whiskey, sugar cube, water, Boker’s Bitters, 

                                        Gum Syrup, Lemon Twist 

The Modern            Hudson Manhattan Rye, sugar cube, Angostura Bitters, 

                                         Orange Twist 

The Wisconsin        Christian Brothers VS Brandy, Sugar, Water, Angostura Bitters, 

                                         Orange muddle in, Cherry garnish  
                  Ordered Sweet ~ Add Sprite
                  Ordered Sour ~ Add Sour Mix
                  Ordered Press ~ Add equal parts Sprite and Sour Mix 


The Family Legacy

Applejack Old-Fashioned

Laird’s Applejack Brandy, Maple Syrup and Peyshauds Bitters 

Scotch Old-Fashioned

The Famous Grouse Scotch, Honey and Angostura Bitters  
Agave Old-Fashioned

Espolon Reposado Tequila, Agave Nectar and Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Rum Old-Fashioned

Flag Hill Spiced Rum, Demerara Syrup and Peychaud’s Bitters  

The Timeline


 The Original “Whiskey Cocktail” 

High West Double Rye, sugar cube, water, Boker’s Bitters, 

Gum Syrup, Lemon Twist
~1862 First known printed recipe, served Up

The “Old Fashioned” Whiskey Cocktail 

Jim Beam Rye, Sugar Cube, Water, Nutmeg    
  ~ 1902 New York’s Fifth Avenue Hotel, Author/Bartender “Colonel” Jim Grey

The “Savoy” Old-Fashioned

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, sugar, Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, lemon twist  
~ 1930 The first post-Prohibition recipe to surface.

“Burk’s” Old-Fashioned

Beat 3 Reserve Whiskey, Absinthe, Sugar Cube, 

Angostura Bitters, Lemon Peel   
~ 1934 The birth of the ‘Fruit Wars’, a dark age for the Old Fashioned

The “New” Old-Fashioned

High West ‘American Prairie’ Whiskey, sugar, water, 

Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters, lemon twist
 ~ 1948 By Dave Embrey, stabilizing the recipe until modern times 

…..and now

 Oaxaca Old-Fashioned

Espolon Reposado Tequila, mescal, agave nectar, 

Angostura Bitters, Orange Twist 
 ~ 2007 By Phil Ward, Death & Co., Manhattan

Prime Meats Old-Fashioned

Old Forester 100 proof Rye Bourbon, Simple Syrup, 

Fee Brothers Pear Bitters   
~ 2009 Prime Meats, Brooklyn

Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned 

Woodford Reserve, Demarara Syrup, Angostura Bitters, 

Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, Orange Peel